Sovereign or Vanden Plas?

My 1988 XJ6 vehicle shows that this car is a Sovereign. However, when I try to decode that on CarFAx it shows up as a Vanden Plas.
When I bought this car in 1988 the dealer gave me a Manual that shows this car with four head lamps, however, the car has the European head lamps.
As for parts, I am not sure if the parts are one and the same for these vehicles?

Any suggestion?

tis a weird thing., but check under XJ40 in this forum. that is the place that your car is discussed.


Thanks Carl! Much appreciated. Does the XJ4 four means (4Cylinder) or Series 4 ?

Although you car is badged as an “XJ6” it is a very different car than the XJ6s discussed on this list. Your car was an entirely new model introduced in the USA in 1988 and at other times elsewhere. It is often referred to by the internal project code that Jaguar used for this new model XJ40.

Try asking your question over on the Jag-Lovers XJ40 list. You should also mention what country you live in as this is an international list and Jaguar created different trim packages for different countries based on local laws and buyer preferences.


4 ?? Thought I perhaps I mistyped. XJ40 is the designation and the place to look on this forum.

Decades ago, I almost bought a very nice example. Dealer and I could not agree on the $'s. My memory, a hot day and very cold AC!!!


Thank you Paul!
Here is what I know, from discussion when I bought the car in 1988. The Jag was driven by the VP of Jaguar in California. It had just under 10 km. When I looked at the headlamp housing, there are four connections to adapt to the original (4 lights). My take is they replaced that with the Euro lights.
I am from Canada and bought the car here in Canada. I overheard from time to time when it was services at the time by the dealer-series 4. But never questioned what is series 4. How do I tell wheather, its a series 4 or not. I the logo at the back of the car says, “Sovereign”. The manual make no mention of sovereign or Vanden Plas.
Much appreciated.

Some people have tried to distinguish the XJ40s from the Series 1, Series 2 and Series 3 XJ6 models by calling them “Series 4” but this is not commonly done. The convention among XJ6 owners seems to be to refer to them as XJ40s.

Vanden Plas, Sovereign, Daimler, or XJ6 all defined the level of trim packages of the models based on model year, and country. The basic driveline remained the same as far as I know.

I don’t know anything about the XJ40 cars or their headlights. I recommend that you post your questions on the Jag-Lovers XJ40 list where your model is discussed.


I can only talk from the UK.
The BASE xj40 had 4 headlights (+ the V12)
The sovereign/Daimler version had 2 headlight (large rectangular)
In the Rest of the world, the sovereign/Daimler was called the Vanden Plas because Jaguar only has the rights to the Daimler name in the UK.
Some people swapped from 2 to 4 lights as it was more ‘Jaguar’

If it has a fluted grill then it would be called a Van den Plas. A Daimler in other parts of the world. This is the highest trim available, used by the British Prime minister when a current car.
As stated they are sometimes called Series 4 but very rarely more by parts guys than people in the know. I take it that it has the 4.0 litre engine? Known as the AJ6 very strong except for the headgasket, known to let go at 100,00ml/160,000klm

Thank you Peter. That explains the wiring for the four lamps. So this is probably a Vanden Plas xj4! The manual the dealer gave me, the Jag shown there has 4 headlamps. So, they probably, try to make make it a sovereign.
You see, this where my problem is; when I need to order parts. A cross between a sovereign and Vanden Plas-Great!!!

Much appreciated. I am looking for a brake accumulator, any advice or suggestion would be much appreciated. Not sure if an 89-92 will work.

Also, I am getting a knocking (pulsation) from one of the lines in the engine compartment.

What treatment needs to be applied…please!!!


For part numbers I always start with Jaguar classic. For your car, a Jaguar XJ6 (series 4 or XJ40) this is the page.

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I think you now know which model you have, but this post has a nice description of the various’XJ6’’s

Easy to see why there is some confusion for the non enthusiast!

There was a time when only four types of headlights were permitted in the US: two big round, four small round, two big rectangles, or four small rectangles – all standard sealed beam units, all horrible for visibility. Jaguar had the gall and audacity to design their saloon of the day to utilize two large round and two small round, found out that wasn’t permitted, and ended up replacing the large round units with small round units with an ugly spacer surrounding it.

In the midst of the “energy crisis”, the Big Three auto makers made a case to Congress that they could improve their corporate fuel economy if they were permitted to utilize custom headlight assemblies that would fit the contours of the car smoothly. The laws were subsequently changed permitting pretty much whatever headlights the automakers wanted provided they garnered DOT approval – meaning, basically, they still had to suck for visibility. This introduced the 9000 series bulbs, one of which looked a lot like a European H4 except that it was DOT-approved.

Nowadays we have LED headlights and pretty much anything goes. Which means you can pitch your old four-round sealed beam arrangement over the hedge and replace it with something that actually enables you to see at night if you so choose. DOT approval is still required, but unless you blind an oncoming cop you’re not likely to get called on it.

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The very earliest and incidentally your 88 XJ40 sovereign was fitted with European “styled” headlamps that were made by Valeo. This is a single reflector, right-dipping unit, the same unit fitted to all other LHD markets.
However, quite soon afterwards, these units were abandoned in the North American market and Sovereign & VDP models were fitted with the twin reflector rectangular lamps made by Hella.
Hella units are about an inch and a half wider than the Valeo lamps - you can tell a car is fitted with Valeos by a chrome 1-1/2" wide plastic strip between the headlamp and the grille. The Hellas fit snug against the grille with no plastic filler piece.

Interestingly, the wide twin reflector Hella lamps were only available in the North American market.

BTW, don’t search for parts by model year. For accurate results always specify the VIN. Oh and are you sure you need a brake accumulator? I didn’t think early cars used the Teves accumulator in their anti-lock systems. Surely an 88 would use a different type of braking system?

The earlier cars had a slightly different accumulator, this was positioned forward in the engine bay and powered from a pump driven off the engine.

Thanks Paul. This is great. Now I have a better idea of how to order parts and what to look for in this web of knowledge.
The best.

Would that be Teves II?

Thank you Larry!
Yes, looking for an accumulator as I am getting a pulsating/knocking sound from one of the lines in the engine compartment. This I am told that maybe caused by the low pressure in the

What is the VIN of your car? That parts illustration you show is for a model other than an 88 AFAIK.